Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, has kicked up all sorts of controversy with her argument that career women can be their own worst enemy and should “lean in” more to their jobs and their ambitions. But the biggest, largely unspoken problem is not that she is elitist, or placing blame in the wrong place. [...]
M: Maternity/Paternity Leave
Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.
Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son. More
Know the Facts
- Having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells" in the U.S. -- when income dips below what's needed for basic living expenses.
- In the U.S., 49% of mothers cobble together paid leave following childbirth by using sick days, vacation days, disability leave, and maternity leave.
- 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave -- so some take unpaid leave, some quit, some even lose their jobs.
- The U.S is one of only 4 countries that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers -- the others are Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
- Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
What You Can Do
MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave
This Mother’s Day, the United States is still behind all other high-income industrialized nations when it comes to providing paid leave to parents. And, according to a new analysis released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), employers are not filling the gap—despite many providing paid leave benefits beyond legal requirements. The Family [...]
I refused to be one of those people who criticized – or even commented too much – on Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, until I’d read it. Since my week included client crises, a non-profit board meeting, tap and drum lessons and oh yes, recovering from the [...]